Home News Nigeria Lacks Entertainment Lawyers — CEO African Technology Foundation

Nigeria Lacks Entertainment Lawyers — CEO African Technology Foundation


By Olanrewaju Akojede

Lagos,  –  Mr Stephen Ozoigbo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of African Technology Foundation, has said that Nigeria lacked entertainment lawyers to fight piracy that had almost crippled the industry.

Ozoigbo made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at a forum tagged `Geeks meet Nollywood at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

NAN reports that The African Technology Foundation hosted a Red Carpet party for Nollywood stars as part of the 500 Startups Geeks on the Plane Tech Tour to Nigeria.

The event served as a flagship for bringing Silicon Valley’s leading Media and Technology investors who are transforming the global film industry to Nigerian entertainment industry.

It also aimed at evolving a synergy between the startups and the Nollywood’s finest creative and way-makers to network and explore greater connections between both ecosystems.

The event includes special industry discussions, investor networking and the screening of the documentary, “Venture: An Enterprise Journey’’ showcasing the activities of five top African startups invited into the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Ozoigbo said that the entertainment industry could be made better if there was an effort to combat piracy at the policy and distribution level which involved having good legal frontiers.

“Government should help the Nollywood to design policy frameworks that work; it goes to the fact that we must enforce the law which is on the government side.

“Nigeria needs to know how to do or carry a case to court and win when it comes to the fight against piracy.

“Nigeria does not have enough entertainment lawyers, so, the ability to fight piracy in the court of law is limited. Ability to sue on behalf of the producers whose film has been pirated.

“Sometimes, people resort to divine intervention because of lack of trust in the judicial process and often end up in a total loss. There should be more people specialised in entertainment law,’’ he said.

Ozoigbo urged parents not to discourage their children who want to develop a career in entertainment law, adding that the more people are needed to specialise in entertainment law.

“Universities have to create a room for the training of entertainment lawyers. It should be a specialised course.

“Some parents may even discourage their children from studying this course which is wrong. We need this entertainment lawyers to pursue legal fight against the cankerworm eating the industry.

“Claims that there is no money in entertainment law are not right, it is a business which has its own positives and which is helpful for the industry.

“We have a situation where we should re-assess our value chain, policies, enforcement, training and regulation of the entertainment industry,’’ he said.

Ozoigbo said that piracy could be fought through the use of technology which would be beneficial to all the stakeholders in the industry.

“Piracy is a big issue all over the world which we have been looking at many ways of solving. We need all the help we can get.

“Some of the help are from the marketers and some from actors themselves; we need to ask ourselves why pirate a movie? Who is the guy that first got the movie pirated?

“We also asked what does the man that sells the pirated copies needs. So, we come to a conclusion that we need to create an enabling environment so that all stakeholders benefits.

“What we are proposing is the use of technology that will be beneficial to all and sundry. The man on the street get paid and the owner of the work enjoy his sweat,’’ he said.

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